The New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is considering a revamp of the current evaluation system for contractors. How will everyone be satisfied?
Dissatisfaction with the Current System
Currently, contractors with $250,000 or more in contracts from the MTA are assessed by evaluators every six months, using five criteria of the All Agency-Contractor Evaluation (ACE) system:
- Minority, women, and disadvantaged business compliance
Ratings on each category are: satisfactory, marginal or unsatisfactory. Contractors are given the notice to address deficiencies and an overall performance rating.
Gearing Up For Change
According to Construction Dive, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at the MTA believes that with its construction and development functions now centralized, the time is ripe for a change to the evaluation system. In the new approach, contractors would be evaluated against performance standards by project managers, with subpar performance considered before the awarding of additional contracts. As described in Construction Dive:
Inspector General Carolyn Pokorny’s report found that less than 1% of MTA contractors have been rated as providing unsatisfactory performance even though the OIG has “expressed skepticism” that MTA contractors have executed on their contracts that well.
In this latest report, the OIG said that MTA officials agree that the ACE needs revision and that the agency will incorporate the new metrics it has already developed to rate contractor performance into the new system.
While a new system of evaluation might be warranted, said attorney Erik Ortmann with Kaufman Dolowich Voluck in New York, there would be concerns if the MTA made it “an institutional goal” to rate more contractors as unsatisfactory.
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